While most of the hockey world is, rightfully, focusing on the conference finals that are taking place, there are 26 other teams that are prepping for what is sure to be a busy offseason come the conclusion of the Stanley Cup finals at the end of June.
One of those teams that may be busy making changes is the Edmonton Oilers.
Fresh off its league high seventh straight season without making the playoffs, the Oilers enter the offseason looking to turn a young and relatively inexperienced team into a playoff-caliber unit. In an interview with Edmonton’s 1260 The Team radio station, new Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish gave a bit of insight into just what his plans for the offseason entail which includes trying to move forward Ales Hemsky and captain Shawn Horcoff.
“Sometimes change is good for both the organization and the player,” MacTavish told Mark Spector. “I have a lot of allegiance, loyalty for both Horc and Hemmer.
“[But the] ideal scenario would be to move them on and wish them the best.”
Hemsky is entering the final year of a two-year, $10-million contract, and could be a simple move for the Oilers should a team want him.
Although plagued by injury issues, Hemsky has shown that he can be productive on offense when he is healthy enough to play: in the games he has played over the last four injury-filled seasons (176), Hemsky has 120 points.
Horcoff may be a tougher sell for teams to trade for. After coming off a season in which he scored just 12 points (5 +7) in 31 games, the 34-year old Oilers captain still has two years remaining on a six-year, $33-million contract. That’s a cap hit of $5.5-million per season which is not a reasonable amount of money for a player not producing at that level.
Of course, the Oilers could make a Horcoff trade more enticing by agreeing to pick up some of his remaining salary though that seems unlikely to happen.